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LDC exits healthcare communications specialist Lucid Group to ICG

10 Mar 2021

Leading mid-market private equity firm LDC has exited its investment in Lucid Group, the international multi-capability healthcare communications group, to alternative asset manager ICG, following a significant period of growth.

London-headquartered Lucid Group provides medical education and communication, strategic consultancy and digital services to its clients through an integrated group of specialist agencies. The firm, which employs more around 250 staff across the UK, US and international offices, works with the world’s leading pharmaceutical brands to improve both disease management and patient outcomes.

LDC originally backed co-founders Dennis O’Brien and Jan Steele in 2017, investing £11m for a minority shareholding to support continued organic sales growth, expansion of the service offering including into digital and creative and further development of Lucid’s presence in the US.

The group subsequently acquired and integrated two specialist agencies – HealthCare21 and Bluedog – adding significant technical and creative capabilities. Lucid also expanded internationally, launching into new markets in Singapore and Dubai and adding to its established presence in the US.

During a four-year partnership with LDC, revenues grew from £12m to more than £29m. The firm continued winning awards, securing Medical Education Consultancy of the Year in both 2018 and 2019 at the Communiqué Awards, which celebrate exceptional healthcare communications work.

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Our partnership with LDC helped us transform the scale of the business, creating a platform to support rapid expansion through acquisition and the impact on our colleagues and clients has been hugely positive. We’re excited about continuing this journey with ICG, adding new capabilities so we can service our clients in new ways and in new markets.”
Dennis O’Brien, CEO
Lucid Group

Christian Bruning, Director of LDC in London, added: “Thanks to Dennis and Jan, the Lucid team already had deep technical expertise and a highly client-focused approach at its core. Our partnership has been about supporting further expansion of the service offering organically and through buy and build, while retaining the culture fundamental to Lucid’s ongoing success. We’re excited to see what the team goes on to achieve.”

He added: “There are so many businesses like Lucid who have the capability and ambition to scale but lack the capital or experience to buy and build. As more markets consolidate, we’re keen to talk to management teams just like Dennis and Jan about these opportunities.”

The transaction was led, on behalf of LDC by Christian Bruning and Joseph Fison, supported by Lewis Winston.

LDC and Lucid were advised by Rothschild (Corporate Finance) and Osborne Clarke (Legal) RSM (Financial Due Diligence) and Candesic (commercial Due Diligence) and Matrix (Insurance Due Diligence).

Management were advised by Liberty.